Energy Ratings Don’t Tell the Whole Story for Heat Pumps
In most areas of the country, heat pumps are the most efficient methods for providing heating and air conditioning in a home, but they are only efficient if the right features are included based on the home’s needs. There are some factors you must consider before choosing a heat pump to be sure it is efficient and effective at keeping a home comfortable.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER)
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) number on a heat pump measures how effective the pump is while in air conditioning mode. The rating is determined by computing the ratio between the watt-hours of electricity used and the BTUs of cooling power produced, so that the higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit is. In many cases, a lower number may be just as efficient as a higher number.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)
The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) is often called the opposite of the SEER number, as it rates the efficiency of the unit when it is in heating mode. This is a ratio measured as a single number and is often lower than the SEER number. Like the SEER number, it is important to choose the right HSPF for your home’s needs, as a lower efficiency may be suitable for the home’s needs.
Ratings Can Be Misleading
Because conditions differ from home to home, it is important to understand that HSPF and SEER ratings must also be based on conditions in the home, the climate where the house is located and other factors that could affect the efficiency of the unit. Plus, the ratings are not accurate if the operating conditions and other factors are not considered. In addition, incorrect ratings can be delivered when a system is not designed or installed properly.
Although ratings such as SEER and HSPF are excellent guidelines for choosing a heat pump, it is important to do further research into the unit to be sure that the ratings are based on climate conditions near your home, the size of the home it is meant to service and other factors that have a bearing on how the unit operates.
Work with a Qualified, Local Contractor
For that reason, it’s critical you work with a qualified, experienced local contractor to choose and install a system that meets the needs of your home. An experienced contractor can help you choose the system that best meets your needs based on real-world conditions in the Seattle area, and protect you from an improper installation that may cause the system to lose efficiency.
MM Comfort Systems can help you navigate the complexities of heat pump efficiency ratings.
Our contractors have been working with Seattle, East Side and Tacoma residents since 1977. This makes us uniquely qualified to help you understand heat pump efficiency ratings and help you choose the right system. Call 425.533.9058 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form to get in touch.